A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Overview of Manufacturing
To make sure we get off to a good start, we'll begin this first lesson by defining manufacturing—looking at its history, identifying the various types of industries, and discussing different types of products. We'll survey the critical areas of design, materials, processes, technology, and systems. Then, we'll finish up by examining manufacturing capability, trends in the field, and manufacturing careers.
Lesson 02 - Production Design and Planning
Production design is a critical activity for any manufacturing firm because it plays a major role in defining overall costs. Once a production design is set, it charts the course for a product. Even the most expensive equipment and the best engineers can't offset the limitations of a production design. Today, we'll examine the elements of production design and process planning. Then, we'll explore the vast number of processing types including metal casting, bulk deformation, sheet metal forming, material removing, polymer and plastic processing, rubber production, glass manufacturing, powder processing, surface processing, joining and fastening, electronics assembly, and chemical processing.
Lesson 03 - Facility Location and Layout
Before you can manufacture anything, you need some land, a building, and a layout. Your decisions about these elements are extremely important, especially the first two. Once you buy land and erect a building, it's usually too late to change your mind without incurring a stiff penalty. So, in this lesson, we'll explore the ins and outs of facility selection and layout. We'll begin by discussing the influence of forecasting, long-range planning, and capacity planning. Then we'll identify the numerous factors you need to consider for a general and specific location and look at a way to evaluate them. We'll also examine plant layout and review a few options for it.
Lesson 04 - Job Design
Our topic today is job design. Job design has changed dramatically over the years and the majority of manufacturing jobs now combine human labor and machines. While a few positions such as assembly or heavy labor may not involve equipment, it's difficult to think of work that doesn't involve mechanical aids or tools. We'll discuss how job design is made up of job content and work methods and how jobs relate to each other. You'll find out how machines relate to human beings, and also how an operation chart helps define the steps a worker takes to complete a job. Then, we'll finish up with a discussion about work teams and a matrix organization, and see how job enlargement and job enrichment increase employee satisfaction.
Lesson 05 - Physical Work Environment
Today, we'll add another essential layer to our manufacturing picture: how to create an effective and productive physical work environment. The physical work environment includes temperature, humidity, airflow, noise, lighting, and levels of contaminants (hopefully low). It plays a major role in worker well being and productivity. We'll examine the elements of a manufacturing work environment starting with the physical building and moving on to temperature, humidity, airflow, and noise. We'll also talk about lighting, contaminants, and hazards. Then, we'll close with a general look at safety and the elements of an effective safety program.
Lesson 06 - Manufacturing Materials
If you let your imagination run wild, you can probably think of hundreds, perhaps thousands of manufacturing materials. At the companies I've worked for, we've used latex rubber, electronics, sheet metal, wood, human plasma, seaweed, titanium wire, and alligator blood. That's some list! We won't be able to look at all materials, but, in this lesson, we'll cover the basic ones—metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. We'll start by discussing the nature of materials. Then, we'll move on to their mechanical and physical properties and talk about dimensions, tolerances, and surfaces.
Lesson 07 - Product Development
New products are the lifeblood of manufacturing organizations. But did you know that it takes more than 50 new product ideas to generate a single successful one? Unfortunately, most new products don't satisfy customer or company objectives. A major reason new products don't succeed is because they aren't marketed well. Today, we'll make sure this doesn't happen to you. We'll delve into the concept of customer orientation, starting with a brief overview of marketing. Then, we'll explore the voice of the customer (VOC). And finally, you'll see how failure mode, effects analysis (FMEA), and project management can lead to success.
Lesson 08 - Costs and Accounting
Cost is the price you pay to acquire, maintain, produce, or use materials or services. Since most firms account for their operations at cost, it's vital that you understand how costs are determined and used. In this lesson, we'll examine many different types of costs including discretionary, relevant, variable, and standard. After we finish exploring these costs, you'll see how manufacturers reflect them in their accounting systems.
Lesson 09 - Investing and Budgeting
Today, we'll look at investment decisions for items such as equipment and fixture purchase and replacement. We'll also spend some time on budgeting. We'll discuss the different types of investment decisions, including average rate of return (ARR), payback period, discounted cash flow (DCF), net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR). After we work through a few problems, we'll discuss the basics of budgeting.
Lesson 10 - Manufacturing Measurements
In this lesson, we'll examine performance measurements as a way to keep track of progress. After all, you don't really know how your manufacturing operation performs unless you have an official scorecard. So, today we'll identify the attributes of effective performance measurements and look at a few traditional and progressive methods. Then, we'll wrap things up by addressing physical measurements.
Lesson 11 - Standardization
Today is all about standards. They've been around for quite a few years, but it's just in the past few decades that they've stepped out into the spotlight, mainly because of the high profile of ISO 9000. We'll talk about how standards are used, identify where they came from, and discuss how they're developed. We'll also explore their benefits and discover how they're defined.
Lesson 12 - Technology and Manufacturing
For our final lesson, we'll focus on technology. We'll look at a few specific technological advances, namely computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), flexible manufacturing system (FMS), and bar coding. Then, we'll close the course by looking at a powerful software package used by manufacturers around the world: enterprise resource planning (ERP).